Magic Leap’s cheapest mixed reality headset will cost about as much as new phone; the mid-level Creator Edition will be priced like a premium PC, according to CEO Rony Abovitz.
Speaking at Recode’s Code Media conference this week, Abovitz was naturally keen to talk up the magical and transformative ways Magic Leap is approaching the augmented/mixed reality field, and how the hardware will react to your movements and project light at different depths to make an AR experience unmatched by any other platform.
While that’s impressive, we’ve heard it before. What is interesting is that the secretive company actually shed some light on pricing, however vague.
Moderator Peter Kafka said he’s heard a rumor that the entry-level price will be somewhere around the $1,000 mark. “I think we’re pricing it… it’s [about the price of] a premium computer, I would think of it that way,” Abovitz responded.
“So it’s an expensive computer you’re going to put on your face,” said Kafka. “Who do you think the audience for this first iteration is?”
“Magic Leap One, we call it Creator Edition, so it’s people who are enthusiasts, developers, creators, brands, artists, partners, people that want to get an early taste of what the future looks like.
“It’s not obviously for everyone right away,” he continued. “It’s not a dev kit in the sense that, you know, we’re not blocking – anyone can be a creator, if you want to create and tinker and you want to play with what’s coming… Magic Leap Creator Edition [is] for you.”
So you could be looking at a grand for the Creator Edition or something approaching twice that amount. The discussion begins at around the 17:00 mark here.
When asked where Magic Leap would need to get to price-wise for the headsets to become mass market products, Abovitz said the Magic Leap One Creator Edition will “probably” represent a middle tier, price-wise, with some cheaper versions hitting shelves, alongside more sophisticated (and expensive) models.
Asked if the wide mass-market Magic Leap would cost around $200-$300, Abovitz said to instead think “higher-end mobile phone to higher-end tablet zone” as “probably” being the lowest Magic Leap would go. But he again declined to talk about a specific price.
While those estimates might be eye-watering, AR enthusiasts should remember that Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets cost a little more when they were first released and cheaper versions soon followed. With Magic Leap, you also won’t need a dedicated PC to run the show; a portable processor designed to sit on your belt handles all of that, leaving you free to move around the place basking in all that AR goodness.
As with prices, Abovitz declined to give a set date, instead saying that they’ll be on sale at some point this spring. Pending leaks or a change of heart, Abovitz also said that we wouldn’t hear about pricing until the day of sale either.
Depending on your budget and how low Magic Leap actually goes, you might have to make a choice; one of these or a Galaxy S9.